John Hagee - Feast of Tabernacles
The feast of tabernacles is the feast of booths. This is a very beautiful booth. And you were to build a booth that was large enough to accommodate your family. This would probably be a booth for someone that was recently married. If you have 12 children, you would have to have a bigger booth. The purpose was that this booth was, one, it was temporary: two, you needed to have a thatched-open roof where you could see the stars and the face of God to remember it was God that helped the children of Israel get from Egypt to the Promised Land: that God is the reason that you are rejoicing, because he is the central being in your life. That's what this booth is. This booth has a central dominance in the scripture that's beyond the thinking of the ordinary Christian.
During the feast of tabernacles, every righteous Jew builds one of these booths in his backyard. If you go to New York or in Jerusalem, they'll build it on the balcony of their high-rise, but they build it. Cornerstone Church has 12 booths out in the parking lot, one for each of the tribes of Israel. After church, go out and eat a balanced meal, which, in San Antonio, is a taco in each hand. Why is this booth built? Because God wanted to dwell among his people. I want you to get that. Get that thought in your mind. The God who has the power to create the universe, the God who has the power to do anything he wants to do, he wants to dwell with you, with you, and with you. Just like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, he wants to walk with you and he wants to talk with you. Exodus 25:8, "Let them build me a sanctuary". The word "Sanctuary" is booth. Let them build a booth that I may dwell among them.
Remember in Matthew 17:4, when Jesus was on the mount with Peter, James, and John. And Elijah and Moses appeared to Jesus. And Jesus' face shone like the sun. It was the radiant revelation of who he was. His clothes were radiant white. Peter said, "Let us build three tabernacles to consecrate this holy moment". How many of you recognize that as being in the scripture? The three tabernacles he was talking about would be three booths. Let us build three booths to recognize and to memorialize what has happened: that God has come down to dwell with us, and we have been in his presence. God, our God, is a personal God. His greatest desire is to have fellowship with you. Just as he walked with Adam and Eve in the garden and talked with them and was with them, he wants to talk with you. This is how God talks to you. He talks to you in this book. This book is not something you read. This book is a book that reads you. His fellowship with you is in prayer. When you talk to him and he answers you through the word, you have fellowship with God. And let me tell you that is a supernatural communion that can give you strength both physically and emotionally in every crisis of life.
To the New Testament believer, there is more, "Do you not know that your body is the tabernacle (the booth) of the Holy Spirit, who is in you"? In Acts 1:8, the Holy Spirit wants to come into you to be a supernatural force. The Bible says, "And you shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you". When God is in you, you have power over the world, the flesh, and the devil. When God is in you, you have power over sickness and disease. When God is in you, you have power over demon spirits, you have power over fear, you have power over insecurity and doubt, you have power to be more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ, you have the power to endure the unendurable, you have the power to fight the good fight. You know that God gives to you strength, wisdom, and knowledge to discern what you're going through. You can be more than a conqueror with God's power! Give him praise in the house of God!
There are three divisions of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit. They are the speaking gifts, the knowing gifts, and the power gifts. In the speaking gifts, you can know what God wants you to say. In the knowing gifts, you can know what God wants you to know. In the power gifts, you can do supernatural fetes that advance the purposes of God, not your purposes, but the purposes of God. With God, the Holy Spirit living in you, your booth has a radiant, supernatural power, the gift of faith to believe for the impossible, the gift of healing to conquer sickness and disease that's attacking your body or the body of someone in your family, the gift of miracles where God breaks the law of nature or he accelerates the law of nature to produce the impossible. The God of the natural is the God of the supernatural.
I'll explain that this way: Jesus was a nine-month baby. God could have brought him here a conqueror riding a white horse with ten legions behind him if he would have wanted him to rule the world. But he wanted him to become the Son of God. And he came as a baby and grew up as a human being. So when he went back to heaven and God the Father looked down and said, what are those silly people doing? Jesus said, I can tell you exactly what they're doing. I've been down there. I know exactly how they think, exactly how they feel. He's the only one in heaven that really understands you. But I'll tell you, you start using his name in vain, you go on his list. He turns you off. Our God is the God of the natural and the supernatural. Peter walked on water. That's when the laws of nature were broken. Jesus turned water into wine. He accelerated the laws of fermentation. Yes, Margaret, it was fermentation, it was wine, and Jesus drank it. If he had performed a wedding feast without real wine, the Jews would have crucified him that day. There's the spirit of multiplication. You plant seed and it brings forth a bursting harvest. Your finances flourish. You have supernatural abundance. You plant one seed that produces a stalk that has ten ears of corn, there's a thousand to one return there.
The third message of the booth is that it is temporary. It's only seven days. "You shall do this for seven days". 2 Peter 1:13 and 14, "Yes, I think it is right as long as I'm in this tent", (Peter is saying) the word "Ten" there means booth or tabernacle. "To stir you up, reminding you that shortly I must put off my tent". That means I'm going to die. I want to tell you very clearly: you're going to die. One out of one dies. That's a fact. The question is: are you ready to die? Let me tell you something. You may think you're tougher than steel. But when you're lying down on your death bed, you'll melt like Jello, wondering if God is with you, if God is not with you. I've watched hundreds of people die. The death of the righteous is a glorious homegoing. The death of the wicked is a tormented moment in time that you never forget when you see it.
The most important acquaintance you can ever have in your life is to know the Son of God as Lord and Savior of your heart. The booth is for seven days. God promises you seven days, meaning 70 years. That's in the Bible. And it says, and preadventure that you have more than that: it will be a time of trouble. That means everything hurts. And what doesn't hurt doesn't work. And I am in that dimension of time. I used to could get dressed in ten minutes. Now it takes me that long to get my meds in line to leave the house, to get my hearing aids to make sure they're not whistling at each other, get all the things I have to hold me together to keep me going for the next 12 hours. All you young people looking at me like, what in God ooh's name is he talking about? Take lots of pictures, kid. You've got a six-pack photographic from front and back. Because the day is going to come when you're going to flop and fly in all directions. Yeah. So what are you doing with your life? What is your purpose? What is your divine purpose? What would you like for me to say should I do your funeral?
I want you to go home today and write your obituary. Make it glowing. I mean make it grand. Make it divinely inspired, and then live like that so that when you die, I don't have to lie at your funeral. Whether you know it or not, your life is racing past you. It's temporary. Every minute, every hour, every day counts. Make it count for the glory of God. Make it count for the glory of God. One of the great mysteries of life is how quickly it goes by. It took me forever to get to be 20 years of age. I blinked and was 35, and that was yesterday. Run the race with endurance. "They that endure to the end shall be saved". Run the race of life with enthusiasm. Finish strong. Don't rust out: wear out! Fight the good fight! Do everything God gives you to do! Do it with excellence! Do it with determination! Do it big! Do it so good that if you fail, it's a miserable failure! Somebody will know you were trying to do something. Give the Lord praise in the house!
The five themes, the five themese, five themes of the feast of tabernacles. One is the season of joy. I'm only going to cover one. The second is the feast of ingathering, inviting the people to come over to your home to eat food with you for seven days. The third is the feast of nations. The fourth is the festival of dedication. The fifth is the festival of lights. Each one of those takes a good 40-minutes to fully cover the biblical essence of what it means. Jesus said I am the light of the world. You are the light of the world. There is a launching and the significance of light from Genesis to the last dot of the Book of Revelation. But let's focus now on one thing, the feast of tabernacles as a time of joy. The closer to Jesus you get, the greater joy you have. Think about that. The closer to Jesus you get, the greater joy you have. Those of you, who are trying to pass off your sourpuss face as a form of deep consecration, are in deep deception. The truth is you're just a Bible-toting grouch. You really do need to get saved, because when you know the Lord, you will be a joyful, happy person.
Cornerstone Church has an annual three-day celebration in the fall called the feast of tabernacles. It's not original with us: it's original with God. And it started thousands of years ago. Jesus was born, listen closely, Jesus was born during the feast of tabernacles. Remember the theme of tabernacles is joy. The Bible says, the angel speaking in Luke 2:10, "Fear not: for I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people". Jesus was God's billboard for joy. Jesus gave us three cheers. They are: "Be of good cheer: your sin is forgiven. Be of good cheer: I have overcome the world. Be of good cheer, I am alive forever more".
Now listen closely. Here's Bible proof that Jesus was born in late September or early October, the feast of tabernacles. Listen closely. The time of the birth of Christ can be proven by the rotation of priests in the tabernacle in Israel. Israel was divided into 24 districts at the time of Christ. Each of these 24 districts sent two priests to the temple each week to serve the people. There were four weeks in the year when every priest went to the temple. That was Rosh Hashanah (new year), Passover, Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles. Deuteronomy 16:16 said that all men were required to go to Jerusalem at least three times a year, according to Deuteronomy.
Remember that Mary and Joseph could not find room in the inn because the feast of tabernacles required for every man in Israel to be there. Obviously, they took their wives and children. Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, was a priest of the division of Abijah, according to Luke 1:5. 1 Chronicles 24:10 states that Zechariah's division was the eighth division of priests, who ministered the tenth week of the year. That's the Jewish calendar year. In Luke 1:9 through 10, Zechariah is in the temple burning incense before the Lord. The incense represents the prayers of God's people, Psalm 141:2. In Luke 1:11 through 13, an angel appeared unto Zechariah and told him that his prayers were going to be answered, and his wife Elizabeth was going to conceive a child. And that child was John the Baptist.
Now listen closely. Allowing two weeks for the law of separation... How many of you know what the law of separation is? How many of you do not know? That's 99%. I'm going to explain it to you. In the Jewish faith, the law of separation is this: whenever a husband and wife were married, and the woman finished her menstrual period, she went to the mikvah and took a bath. And there were ten days that had to pass before the husband could have a sexual relationship with her. Now, allowing two weeks for the law of separation that God commanded, Leviticus 12:5, after he went home. Then going nine months forward, puts the birth of John the Baptist at the time of passover. Listen closely. In Luke 1:26, during the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, the angel Gabriel appeared to the virgin Mary around the 25th of kisler, known as Hanukkah.
Now if you count for the 25th of kisler in the ninth month of the Jewish calendar, and add eight days for the festival of Hanukkah, and add nine months for Mary's pregnancy, Jesus was born during the feast of tabernacles in late September or early October. He most assuredly was not born December the 25th. Jesus is our joy. Say that with me. Jesus is our joy. Remember the message of the angels, "Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy". Our Gospel begins with a song and it ends with a song. Yes, Christianity has its discipline. Yes, it has its trials. Yes, it has its fiery furnaces. Yes, it has its Gethsemane. Yes, there's a Calvary. But there's also a resurrection morning. There's the new body. There's the new life. There's the crown of life. There's the mansion of splendor. There's eternal celebration. We're going someday to be with the king of glory forever and forever and forever! Give the Lord praise in the house of God!
The darkest hour is just before the dawn. You may be in the darkest hour of your life. But I want you, in an act of faith, to shout for joy, because Jesus is your joy. He is with you. He has anointed you. He has empowered you. He lives within you. He's in the booth with you! Lift your head and rejoice! The king is coming! Bless his holy name!
The song "Joy to the world" was never intended to be a Christmas song. It was written by sir Isaac Watts in a book of poems. And this poem was based on the 98th Psalm and other Psalms. Sir Isaac Watts interpreted the 98th Psalm as the role of Jesus Christ as the king of the church and of the world. It was written to celebrate, not Christ' first coming, but Christ' second coming. Listen to the words and think of the millennial. "Joy to the world the Lord has come. Let earth receive her king". Now look at that "King". Jesus was never presented himself to be the king, the first time. If God sent him to be the king and he got crucified, God failed. You see you can't have it both ways. So when Jesus came the first time, he was the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. And the next time he comes, he's going to be King of kings and Lord of lords. Bless his holy name. Bless his holy name.
Go ahead and stand if you want to. The second verse, "Joy to the world. The Savior reigns. Let men their songs employ". Joy to the world. The only time in the Bible there's going to be worldwide joy is when Jesus rules from Jerusalem. That's the millennial reign. Third verse, "No more let sin and sorrow grow, nor thorns infest the ground". The only time when that nature is going to be reversed is in the millennial reign. There will be no thorns. There will be no Johnson grass to cut with your John Deere lawn mower: thank God. That's over. The lion will lay with the lamb. Men will beat their swords into plow shears and study war no more.
The fourth verse, "He rules the world with truth and grace and makes the nations prove, the glory of his righteousness". The only time the nations of the world are going to be in that grip is when Jesus sets up his final throne in the City of Jerusalem and he is King of kings and Lord of lords, when prime ministers and presidents line up to bow before king Jesus. That's what's going to happen. I want us to sing "Joy to the Lord, the Lord is come". Ready? Give the Lord praise in this house! Bless his name! Glorify! Magnify! Rejoice and be exceedingly glad! The Lord is in this house